Mark Driscoll Quotes on Culture, Postmodernism & Messing Up ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Mark Driscoll Quotes on Culture, Postmodernism & Messing Up

Thoughts from The Radical Reformission

I celebrated the end of my midterms by finishing a book I started before the semester began: Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll. Previously, I'd read Confessions of a Reformation Rev., which was basically an autobiographical sequel to Radical, putting flesh and bones on the concepts Driscoll spells out here.

I like his framework. With Driscoll, ideology is basically welded to practice with a blowtorch--he's desperate to marry sound thinking to strong action. As such, he comes across as a blue collar theologian/sociologist. He's a student of culture and theology, but you don't get the impression that this is because:

A) He has a lot of extra time on his hands, B) he enjoys sitting in Starbucks reading academic tomes, or C) he was forced to do it in grad school. In other words, Driscoll is the best kind of student. He has a passion for intellectual discovery and an equal passion for making uses of what he finds out--in gritty, hyperbole-ridden, sometimes-bombastic, Luther-like ways.

I like this, and think there's much to be admired in Driscoll's thoughtful audacity. This isn't a real review, but I wanted to consolidate a few of my thoughts and toss out some quotes. What do you think about Driscoll's takes on...

Christians and Culture
One of the underlying keys to reformission is knowing that neither the freedom of Christ nor our freedom in Christ is intended to permit us to dance as close to sin as possible without crossing the line. But both are intended to permit us to dance as close to sinners as possible by crossing the lines that unnecessarily separate the people God has found from those he is still seeking. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 39-40

Flipping through a phone book once, I saw one church advertising itself as "Separated" and "Reaching Out to Seattle," presumably much like a boxer reaches out to an opponent with a jab. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 141

The Gospels
Some critics of scripture have argued that the differences between the Gospels are contradictions. This could not be farther from the truth. The four gospels simply are similar to your local nightly news. The first three gospels are like local network television affiliates for ABC, NBC, and CBS, which generally report the same stories with some variation in eyewitness accounts and details... John, on the other hands, is more like one of the national cable television newscasts--such as CNN--which have stories that are rarely found on the local nightly news.
- Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 57

Cultural Trends
Isn't it odd that we are apparently becoming a nation of attractive people who sit at home alone at night with our pets, watching television shows about relationships and taking medication for the depression brought on by our loneliness? Meanwhile, our neighbors, whom we do not know, are spending their evenings in much the same way. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 82

Even a cursory reading of the book of Ecclesiastes shows that culture is a stationary bike that each generation climbs on in hopes of getting somewhere only to die and fall off so that the new young stud can take his turn peddling and, like a fool, make pronouncements about his progress. We would be wise to see postmodernity as simply the new guy on the old bike and not mistake cultural change for kingdom progress. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 161

Postmodern culture is not something we should ignore, oppose, or embrace; rather, it is simply another culture that we should seek to redeem and transform by the power of the gospel. Indeed, culture is an old whore, and modernity and postmodernity are simply her old and new dresses. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 161

Ministry & Sinning (Making Mistakes) Boldly
The problem with my pastoral job is that I don't really know what I'm doing. So I read every book I can find and cling to the Bible like a kid who can't swim but somehow found a life preserver in the middle of the ocean. The principles I've shared with you in this book are things I've discovered while messing up, since I have a tendency to find landmines by stepping on them. - Mark Driscoll, Radical Reformission, 183

Intriguing thing about Driscoll: he connects with thousands of thoroughly "postmodern" young people while being thoroughly skeptical about postmodernism himself. I continue to think Driscoll is worth listening to. Radical Reformission is a fast, engaging read, but it's anything but trite.

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blake white said...

Great books & quotes. I appreciate Driscoll for many reasons, and look forward to him writing more.

J. K. Jones said...

Good post.

Driscoll is becoming my "hero." Having come out of the emergent movement without loosing his theological roots in the process, he is uniquely qualified to help me sort through my thoughts.

I am about half way through his Radical Refomission and have ordered Confessions of A Reformission Rev.

Hope to see more discussion here.

Ariel said...

I think Driscoll has new book out on Emerging Church - "Five Perspectives" or something (he only supplies one of them). I understand that he's also working on a book about the cross, Death by Love. I'm looking forward to both.

Driscoll is becoming my "hero."...uniquely qualified to help me sort through my thoughts.

I agree, Driscoll has a unique perspective on the "dark (Emergent) side" of EC. I appreciate his theological vigor and strong communication skills. He's cool enough, he may even play basketball.

Of course, a guy with Driscoll's abilities attracts a host of followers, some of whom abandon critical thinking to adore the rock star.

Good thing none of us are in that boat. :)


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife